Never downloaded, never used: The deathly rise of the lurking ‘zombie app’

Most apps loiter like decommissioned nuclear reactors on Apple’s servers

Apple’s finger-tapping retail empire, the App Store, is celebrating five years of flogging antagonised avians. But while successful apps have launched everything from TV shows (Draw Something) to board game renaissances (Words with Friends), most apps loiter like decommissioned nuclear reactors on Apple’s servers, never downloaded, never used.

These “zombie apps”, according to research, make up about 600,000 of the 900,000 apps on sale. It’s near impossible to find out which ones have never had any downloads, but The Independent found five of the zombiest apps, with so few downloads that they’ve not got enough data to be reviewed or rated. In the spirit of fairness, we’ve done it for you.             

1. TapDatOrange, 69p

This consists of frantically tapping oranges, ie. “make that orange juice”. The oranges, for some reason, have wigs, hats and lipstick. Like a cross between Fruit Ninja and an outtake from a “Mighty Boosh” fantasy sequence.

2. Fish Encyclopaedia Expert, £1.99

Not – as its name suggests – an app that makes its user an expert about  fish encyclopaedias,  this grim-looking resource combines pictures of fish with information about fish. Or, as its description in the app store gleefully sells it: “A collection where you can find detailed info and great photos about most interesting photography.” Er? 

3. How to Meet Women!! Free

Because nothing screams born-again ladykiller like the double exclamation mark. HTMW!! is  full of advice sure  to coax dozens of unsuspecting women into the lives of iPhone users, eg: “Women tend to be more chatty than men. Use this to your advantage... while she carries the conversations on her own, think of your next move.” Lovely!! 

4. TellMeMyPath, Free

Watch out agents of the NSA, you’ve got competition. This is, according to its creator, “tracking your life”. It tells you where you’ve been and – best of all – how to get home. The likelihood of someone who  can’t find their way home being able to operate a smartphone isn’t mentioned in its spiel.

PROMOTED VIDEO
Life and Style
ebookA wonderful selection of salads, starters and mains featuring venison, grouse and other game
Independent
Travel Shop
the manor
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on city breaks Find out more
santorini
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on chic beach resorts Find out more
sardina foodie
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on country retreats Find out more
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Gadgets & Tech

    Project Coordinator/Order Entry, Security Cleared

    £100 - £110 per day + competitive: Orgtel: Project Coordinator/Order Entry Ham...

    Senior Digital Marketing Executive

    £35000 - £45000 Per Annum: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: Our client based i...

    Junior Developer- CSS, HMTL, Bootstrap

    competitive: Progressive Recruitment: A leading company within the healthcare ...

    Junior Web Developer- CSS, HMTL

    competitive: Progressive Recruitment: A leading company within the healthcare ...

    Day In a Page

    Save the tiger: The animals bred for bones on China’s tiger farms

    The animals bred for bones on China’s tiger farms

    The big cats kept in captivity to perform for paying audiences and then, when dead, their bodies used to fortify wine
    A former custard factory, a Midlands bog and a Leeds cemetery all included in top 50 hidden spots in the UK

    A former custard factory, a Midlands bog and a Leeds cemetery

    Introducing the top 50 hidden spots in Britain
    Ebola epidemic: Plagued by fear

    Ebola epidemic: Plagued by fear

    How a disease that has claimed fewer than 2,000 victims in its history has earned a place in the darkest corner of the public's imagination
    Chris Pratt: From 'Parks and Recreation' to 'Guardians of the Galaxy'

    From 'Parks and Recreation' to 'Guardians of the Galaxy'

    He was homeless in Hawaii when he got his big break. Now the comic actor Chris Pratt is Hollywood's new favourite action star
    How live cinema screenings can boost arts audiences

    How live cinema screenings can boost arts audiences

    Broadcasting plays and exhibitions to cinemas is a sure-fire box office smash
    Shipping container hotels: Pop-up hotels filling a niche

    Pop-up hotels filling a niche

    Spending the night in a shipping container doesn't sound appealing, but these mobile crash pads are popping up at the summer's biggest events
    Native American headdresses are not fashion accessories

    Feather dust-up

    A Canadian festival has banned Native American headwear. Haven't we been here before?
    Boris Johnson's war on diesel

    Boris Johnson's war on diesel

    11m cars here run on diesel. It's seen as a greener alternative to unleaded petrol. So why is London's mayor on a crusade against the black pump?
    5 best waterproof cameras

    Splash and flash: 5 best waterproof cameras

    Don't let water stop you taking snaps with one of these machines that will take you from the sand to meters deep
    Louis van Gaal interview: Manchester United manager discusses tactics and rebuilding after the David Moyes era

    Louis van Gaal interview

    Manchester United manager discusses tactics and rebuilding after the David Moyes era
    Will Gore: The goodwill shown by fans towards Alastair Cook will evaporate rapidly if India win the series

    Will Gore: Outside Edge

    The goodwill shown by fans towards Alastair Cook will evaporate rapidly if India win the series
    The children were playing in the street with toy guns. The air strikes were tragically real

    The air strikes were tragically real

    The children were playing in the street with toy guns
    Boozy, ignorant, intolerant, but very polite – The British, as others see us

    Britain as others see us

    Boozy, ignorant, intolerant, but very polite
    How did our legends really begin?

    How did our legends really begin?

    Applying the theory of evolution to the world's many mythologies
    Watch out: Lambrusco is back on the menu

    Lambrusco is back on the menu

    Naff Seventies corner-shop staple is this year's Aperol Spritz